Concierge Medicine, Direct Primary Care, or Health Insurance?

Concierge Medicine, Direct Primary Care, or Health Insurance?

Photo of five medical professionals with an african american doctor in the front for information on Raleigh concierge medicine and direct primary care, from Hunt Insurance.An increasing number of doctors are exploring opportunities to offer concierge medicine or direct primary care. Instead of using your health insurance for basic healthcare, you join the doctor’s health plan—either through a concierge company or the doctor’s in-office plan—and pay an annual fee. These plans are not health insurance. Most patients use their health insurance to cover emergencies, more costly medical expenses, and hospitalization.

Concierge Medicine

According to Concierge Medicine Today, there are about 12,000 concierge doctors throughout the U.S. There are concierge medicine companies, and doctors can join them to and become part of the network. Patients join the plan and pay an annual fee. The average cost per patient is about $138 per month. Some costs are lower, and some are significantly higher. In return for the annual fee, doctors promise personalized primary care. Depending on the medical practice, doctor’s visits may or may not be included in the annual fee, and your insurance company is billed for the visit. If your doctor is offering this option, speak with him or her about the details of the plan.

Direct Primary Care

Direct primary care is modeled after concierge medicine. In contrast, fees are assessed directly by the practice. Unlike concierge plans, the physician has not enrolled with a concierge medicine network. As a result, monthly membership costs are lower. Primary care, preventive care, urgent care, and chronic disease management are included in membership. Insurance is usually not accepted by these practices, and for more costly medical expenses, patients pay out of pocket. In turn, medical claims are submitted by the patient to the insurance company. Speak with your doctor about the details, if this plan is being offered to you.

How does the patient benefit? When doctors don’t have to file insurance claims, their costs can be cut by as much as 40%. Doctor’s fees are lower, and the savings are passed on to the patient.

Is Concierge Medicine or Direct Primary Care for You?

Photo of a pros and cons chalk board for Raleigh health insurance, concierge medicine, direct primary care information from Hunt Insurance.
Weigh the pros and cons

That depends. Patients with health insurance plans that have high of out-of-pocket costs for lab work, x-rays, vaccines, and the like may benefit from concierge medicine or direct primary care. Concierge or direct care physicians often negotiate lab fees to offer patients lower rates than they would through health insurance plans. Also, patients with high-deductible plans (out-of-pocket costs for you before the plan starts providing coverage) may benefit by using one of these options and saving on the cost of primary medical care, and reserving the high deductible for specialty care and emergencies.

If you have an insurance plan with low deductibles and co-pays, concierge medicine or direct primary care may not be for you. Although it may be offered to you, weigh the pros and cons. Remember that these plans usually cost at least $1000 per year, in addition to your health insurance premiums. If your doctor switches to a concierge or direct care plan, and you don’t want or cannot afford it, you may have to switch doctors, or your case may be transferred to a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner in the office.

Alternatives to health insurance aren’t affordable for everyone. If you already have health insurance, it may be all you want or need. If you don’t have health insurance, discuss your plan options with a trusted agent. In an emergency, it’s better to have limited coverage for emergencies or critical illness than no coverage at all. If you are presented with the opportunity for concierge or direct primary care, carefully weigh the costs, what the plan includes and excludes, and your projected medical expenses.

Life Insurance – No Exam Required

Getting Life Insurance With No Exam Required

Photo of a stethoscope, clipboard, and medical form for Raleigh-Durham, NC life insurance without an exam for Hunt Insurance.That’s the preference for most people. Explore your options, apply for life insurance, and receive it without an exam. If that’s how you feel, there are a few things to consider.

Factors to Consider for Exam-Free Life Insurance

In many cases, you can get life insurance without an exam. There are options in term and whole life insurance. Your agent can explain the details. Below are some of the factors to consider.

Term Life Insurance without a Medical Exam

Term life insurance provides coverage for a limited period of time, or term, usually between ten and thirty years. When the term expires, you will need another policy, unless you have a policy that is renewable or that can be converted to whole life insurance. There are few things to consider, though, and we’ll talk about some of them.

  • Age – Most often, plans are available for applicants who are between 18 and 70 years old.
  • Premiums – They are based on the age of the person being insured. When the term of the policy is over and you need another policy, the rates may significantly increase, based on your age. Depending on your plan, premiums may be level for the entire term, increase after a specified time, or gradually increase. Premiums increase, because as we age, we are more expensive to insure.
  • Health History – A review of your health history will likely be required.
  • Occupation and Lifestyle – The nature of your job and the health risks involved, as well as any hobbies you have that may be extreme, can affect the cost of your premiums and the insurance you qualify for.
  • Limited data gathering – At times, a urine sample may still be required.
  • Coverage amount – There can be a cap on the amount of insurance you can get without an exam. The amount varies, depending on the insurance provider.
  • Cost – At times, your premiums will be higher than they would be if you consent to an exam.
  • Limitations – The policy main have limitations for an initial period.

There are different options for term life insurance. Find an experienced agent to discuss them.

Whole Life Insurance With No Exam

There are insurance companies, some often advertise on TV, that offer whole life insurance without an exam. Some even advertise guaranteed coverage. What are the limitations? Consider some of them.

  • Age – An age range for qualification will be specified. Many plans are offered up to age 75.
  • Coverage – It’s limited, and it’s usually under $100,000.
  • Premiums – They are based on the age of the insured. If you don’t have a level premium plan, the cost will increase as you age. The older we get, the more it costs to ensure us. Premiums will initially cost more that term insurance, but will be less costly than having to renew a term plan or change plans after the plan expires.
  • Health History – A review of your medical history will likely be required.
  • Occupation and Lifestyle – If you have a job that puts your health at risk, or if you have risky, extreme hobbies, they will be factored into the cost of your insurance.
  • Limited data gathering – You may need to provide a urine sample.
  • Coverage amount – There may be a limit on the amount of insurance you can get without an exam. This will vary, based on the plan and insurance company.
  • Cost – Your premiums may be higher than they would be if you had an exam.
  • Limitations – For a specified period, the policy may have limitations.

Whole life insurance has different options. Discuss them with an experienced agent and weigh the pros and cons.

Do You Really Need Insurance Without An Exam?

Maybe. It depends on the coverage amount you want, your age, your health, and other factors. If you’re healthy, good results from an exam can result in lower premiums. If you’re nervous about having an exam, ask your agent what’s involved, how long it will take, and what qualifications the examiner has. The final decision is yours, of course. Get quotes from two or three insurance agents to discuss your options—with and without an exam.

This post is sponsored by Hunt Insurance of Raleigh, NC.